There’s a rather lengthy article GameIndustry.biz had with HTC’s Rikard Steiber and Joel Breton, regarding a wide range of VR topics.
In the article, Rikard Steiber states that they didn’t drop their price in response to Oculus’ recent price drop, indicating that they believe consumers won’t mind paying a premium price for their headsets due to the great content experience.
HTC also believes that VR content should be free to go to any platform, and note that developers are choosing Vive over other platforms (citing a GDC survey), because of their open platform approach. They feel that it doesn’t make any sense to lock down the content behind a wall for this early market space that they are in right now, because it doesn’t give the developers a path to long-term success. They believes that what Oculus is doing right now, is just “getting developers to trade long-term success for short-term cash.” While Oculus states during DICE Summit earlier this year that they do believe in an open platform, HTC’s Breton isn’t buying their talk, and that Oculus should “put their money where their mouth is”. They stressed that they are platform agnostic, and cited Knockout League, a title that they published, to be coming out on Oculus Rift too.
To further backup themselves, HTC also points to their ViveX accelerator program, which is platform agnostic too, and that they have done company level investments in various studios, like Owlchemy, Steel Wool, Wevr, Baobab etc.
HTC is also initiating Viveport subscription service, as well as Viveport Arcade push to enable VR developers to further monetize their products further and easier. They have already tied up with various companies, and they feels that VR arcade serves 2 roles: extend monetization potential, and also help VR become more accessible for everyone. Their Viveport Arcade experience will also maintain a platform agnostic position.
Front Defense, a key title that has been featured for many Viveport Arcade showcases, is a military shooter from internal studio Fantahorn, allowing player to defend a bunker with a variety of weapons. The game will be releasing first in April on Viveport Arcade, followed by a Home version in June.
Vive Studio (HTC’s Vive publishing arm) is publishing both Knockout League and Front Defense , in addition to VR Sports and MakeVR too. That’s not all though. HTC said that Vive Studio will be publishing 25 titles this year, and 200-300 new Vive titles are being released on Steam and Viveport every month right now.
HTC looks set to continue the VR momentum, believing that the Q2 this year will be a very exciting quarter in terms of what they have coming with the titles, as well as from the 3rd party developers.